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Is Now The Time To Put Admiral Group (LON:ADM) On Your Watchlist?

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It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks with a good story, even if those businesses lose money. But the reality is that when a company loses money each year, for long enough, its investors will usually take their share of those losses.

So if you're like me, you might be more interested in profitable, growing companies, like Admiral Group (LON:ADM). Now, I'm not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can't shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. Conversely, a loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the sweet milk of external capital may run sour.

View our latest analysis for Admiral Group

How Fast Is Admiral Group Growing?

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It's no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Over the last three years, Admiral Group has grown EPS by 13% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. I note that Admiral Group's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Admiral Group is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 5.0 percentage points to 48%, over the last year. That's great to see, on both counts.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Admiral Group's future profits.

Are Admiral Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Since Admiral Group has a market capitalization of UK£9.8b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Indeed, they have a glittering mountain of wealth invested in it, currently valued at UK£919m. This suggests to me that leadership will be very mindful of shareholders' interests when making decisions!

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Well, based on the CEO pay, I'd say they are indeed. For companies with market capitalizations over UK£5.7b, like Admiral Group, the median CEO pay is around UK£2.6m.

Admiral Group offered total compensation worth UK£1.6m to its CEO in the year to . That seems pretty reasonable, especially given its below the median for similar sized companies. CEO compensation is hardly the most important aspect of a company to consider, but when its reasonable that does give me a little more confidence that leadership are looking out for shareholder interests. I'd also argue reasonable pay levels attest to good decision making more generally.

Should You Add Admiral Group To Your Watchlist?

As I already mentioned, Admiral Group is a growing business, which is what I like to see. Earnings growth might be the main game for Admiral Group, but the fun does not stop there. Boasting both modest CEO pay and considerable insider ownership, I'd argue this one is worthy of the watchlist, at least. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Admiral Group (at least 1 which is significant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Although Admiral Group certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.